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Re: Olympic data

But then, there's the spectator question,
Was this a World record? A tape measure or time measurement
often gets to resolve this question. I believe it is rare to find that
experimental error is close to the magnitude of the differences
sought in this respect.

I'm not so sure. I think it is fair to suggest that the world record
should belong NOT to the person who "is the fastest" (whatever that
could possibly mean!), but to the person who caused the least time
(need I say "in the frame of the track"?) to elapse between the event
"firing of the starting gun" and the event "some part of the body
crossing a vertical plane at the finish line." Moreover, I think
this time can be established VERY accurately.

Probably the worst part of this definition is that the circumstances
in different races--and even different lanes in the SAME race--can't
be controlled well enough. In particular, one would like a least to
believe that the distance between "the starting block" (whatever THAT
means) and the finish line is reproducible to within something like
[(.01 s)/(10 s)] * 100 m = 10 cm.

John Mallinckrodt
Cal Poly Pomona